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Tenth Central Ohio Compact summit held

Campus News | Thursday, October 11, 2018

Nearly 300 area educators and business leaders converged at the Fawcett Center at Ohio State University on October 9 for the 10th Central Ohio Compact summit. Columbus State organized the collaboration of K-12, higher education, and civic and industry leaders in 2011 to improve college access and attainment.

With the Lumina Foundation’s goal as a benchmark, the Compact has adopted an ambitious goal of having 65% of Central Ohio adults earning a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2025.

Representatives from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) provided updates on policy matters and programs in the state. Candice Grant, Director of the Ohio Guaranteed Transfer Pathways, talked about the need to help students move seamlessly from an associate degree program to a bachelor’s degree program. “We want student success to stay at the center of the initiatives,” she said.

Stephanie Davidson, Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, shared statistics on the percentage of students from various ethnic groups taking part in the College Credit Plus program. While some races are well represented, she said, “Only about half of the number of African-American students are participating in relation to their percent of the population.” ODHE plans to grant more waivers so that additional under-represented students can take part in College Credit Plus.

Representatives from The United Way and the Mid-Ohio Food Bank discussed how poverty leads to educational disadvantages and how we can improve economic mobility in the region. Student success is one of several priorities for the United Way.

“Income inequality is an issue that must be addressed,” said Kenny McDonald, President and CEO of Columbus 2020. He provided figures which show that Columbus has been number one in job growth in the private sector in the Midwest for the past seven years. For continued growth, educational alignment is critical. And, he said, “Global connectivity must increase. We must become more global going forward.”

The Compact - and its work - are funded from a Straight A grant from the Ohio Department of Education and a $2.5 million grant from JPMorgan Chase.

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